Between school, work, and student organizations, life as a college student can be a bit overwhelming. It may seem like you can’t get a grip on your life and are barely afloat, but I have some news for you. You can take hold of your life and change those negative patterns and mindsets to one that prioritizes yourself. When you prioritize yourself, everything else falls together. These habits may seem obvious and you may already be practicing them but maybe not so efficiently. Incorporating these habits into your lifestyle and making them a part of your daily routine will create a reduction in your stress levels and a change in your mental and physical states. You should first get the basics down and then progress, because there is no quick fix to health and fitness. Taking care of your mental state will make it easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Habit One: Write Out Your Schedule
The first one seems obvious but isn’t often executed properly for individuals, leading to an increase of stress, lack of sleep, or mood swings. So, create a schedule. Get a planner and write each day out. You may even need to do this by the hour depending on how busy your schedule is. Next, copy what you have written down into your notes and reminders on your phone so your schedule is always accessible and you have reminders to keep you on track. Although this seems like it will not give you as much “free time” as you want, in the grand scheme of things, it will save you from stress and mental breakdowns. Creating a routine helps you prioritize what is truly important and aligns your mindset to your goals.
Habit Two: Create a Sleep Schedule
The second is creating a sleep schedule. I know this may be hard because each day changes, but it could aligns with your scheduled out days/routine. Compared to your current sleep schedule, if you went to bed one hour earlier and woke up one hour earlier, it would give you that extra hour you wished you had. Waking up early reduces stress levels, helps with success, and stabilizes your emotions and mindset. In the article “The Scientific Argument for Waking Up Early,” Stanford Psychologist BJ Fogg states that “willpower is not how you build good habits. Instead, you need to design your environment and life for them. You need to get small wins every single day, which stack on top of each other.” Alter your “no time” mindset to a prioritized mindset.
Habit Three: Alter Your Mindset
The last habit, altering your mindset, is what stabilizes the change to a healthier lifestyle. This is the overall habit that will truly make any other habit stick. Essentially, if you get out of that negative mindset to a focused mindset, you will realize how much time you waste on unnecessary things. “Reset, readjust, restart, refocus as many times as you need to” is one of my favorite quotes because there is no pressure on getting it right the first time. Changing your lifestyle is hard and you might fail, but as long as you keep resetting , you will get a hold of it. By readjusting your mindset, it will essentially give you more free time to study, do homework, workout, nap, and then relax and watch TV. I personally schedule out my whole day by the hour and designate timeframes for naps, workouts, and leisure time. Whenever I stray away from the schedule, I fall into this pit of doing nothing and it induces my stress, making me either lose sleep or put me behind. That is why it is important to have this altered mindset stick.
This all leads to the underlying theme: time management. Time management is so important because it will create schedules that will have extra time that you didn’t realize exists. Create the life you want. Take life by the horns and control it. Save yourself from the mental breakdowns, anxiety attacks, spent money, and wasted time and have that healthier lifestyle mentally and physically. Your mental health should be the main priority, so do yourself a favor and do anything that can benefit it. You only have one body, so treat it kindly.